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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Education Activist Tomas O'Grady Fighting For Our Libraries

Still can’t find your LA City Council member? Check Los Angeles’s public libraries off the list of their potential hiding spots – they’re probably closed.

LA library operating budgets were some of the first hit by budget cuts, and so far, education activist and CD 4 candidate Tomas O’Grady is the only one looking to do anything about it.

Libraries are safe, quiet spaces for kids studying after school, senior citizens during the day, and adults looking to escape: Library use increases during tough economic times. Multi-purpose rooms regularly host community meetings and events, but all that has changed thanks to the City Council.

Since defunding the libraries, the City Council has been silent on the issue while O’Grady has been waging a quiet and credible war with his grassroots coalition that includes families, Neighborhood Councils, and leaders in education and library administration.

In a letter addressed to the Mayor and City Council members, O’Grady laid out a number of specific cuts that he says will close the funding gap and allow libraries to return to normal operation. O’Grady targeted the General City Purposes Fund, discretionary accounts, perks for Council members and their staff, and outstanding fines and fees the City has failed to collect.

Many of those on the front lines agree with O’Grady: Last week LA City Chief Librarian Martin Gomez and the Librarian’s Guild President Roy Stone stood with O’Grady and called for the Mayor and City Council members to reopen and refund the libraries. Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council passed a similar motion.

“It’s the kids I worry about the most. Where do these kids go now?” O’Grady said. “It’s all about prioritizing and reallocating existing funds away from pet projects, bloated salaries and staffing levels and back into our communities where they belong.”

O’Grady seems to be doing his best to ensure our libraries reopen and that the Council has nowhere to hide.

Mayor Sam has obtained a copy of O'Grady's letter. Take a look at the proposal yourself and see what you think …


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Go away, Alexandra!

You're supposed to provide COMMENTARY, not to be a political advertising campaign.

October 26, 2010 9:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Really good and reliable commentary, Alexandra, as we've come to expect from you.

October 26, 2010 10:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey Joe B,

Sharron Angle now has a 4 point lead over Harry Reid.

Why aren't you posting about that?

October 26, 2010 11:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ever seen O'Grady when he doesn't get his way?

A screaming, abusive lunatic.

Someone (John Thomas) is grooming this turd to look like a diamond.

Fooled you, didn't he?

October 26, 2010 11:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good luck ... the City is already over $60 million in the hole this year and has a $320 million dollar projected deficit for the 2011-12 Fiscal Year. Everyone is going to get hit hard again, including libraries. Four more years of Councilmember Tom LaBonge or anyone else won't change the fact that library services will be further reduced, along with everything else. VOTE TOM NOT TOMAS!

October 26, 2010 11:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Higby, I hope John Thomas is paying you handsomely for allowing him to hijack your blog and use it for his own personal professional exploits!

You are getting hosed otherwise guy.

Alexandra lol!

Alexandra = John Thomas

John Thomas = http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=john%20thomas

October 26, 2010 11:26 AM  

Anonymous Lucy Gadd said:

So many cowardly naysayers.
At least O'Grady is getting off his ass and doing something.
What have all you "Anonymousers" done for your communities lately?
Except whine and bitch.
Shame on y'all.

October 26, 2010 11:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

We all know Lucy Loves Thomas.

Love is blind, honey.

October 26, 2010 12:31 PM  

Blogger mulholland terrace said:

?What have all you "Anonymousers" done for your communities lately?

Well, one thing they haven't done, I'll bet, is run for the first political consultant they see to broadcast it when they volunteer some time to a neighborhood cause. I sure didn't, for instance, when I founded that library's Friends group with David Moss fifteen years ago. Don't remember O'Grady from that time.

October 26, 2010 12:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yo Higby - looks like yet another shill has infiltrated your blog.

Clickty click, swizzle stick!

October 26, 2010 12:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Lucky break for LaBonge, as thomas' career highlight so far is bringing John Shallman a sandwich during trutanich '09

October 26, 2010 12:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Tomas. The nutcase's name is spelled 'Tomas', not 'Thomas'.

But I digress.

October 26, 2010 1:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

'Tom' (LeBong), 'Tomas' (O'Lithium), and (John) 'Thomas' - they're all nuts.

October 26, 2010 1:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Boxers are in the house. Maybe Joseph Mailander should do an intervention on Stephen's billy goat beard.

October 26, 2010 2:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

whaddaya talking about swizzle stick?

higby's blogged has done nothing but shill for the flavor of the month whether it's villaraigosa, mailander's cause, joe b and the home depot, valley dope's crusades, phil jennerjahn, jamiel's law, wacko moore, krekorian, sundor ramnai, no on prop b, david hernandez and every other wacko losing cause in LA-LA-land!

and we don't even mention mr. zoom zooma dogg!

October 26, 2010 2:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

uh-oh Higby expect the wrath of Petrified Griffith Park. They no likey O'Grady.

October 26, 2010 3:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

maybe the city council is pulling money from the libraries the same way they pull money from the classrooms - - - what better way to effectively rile up the lower masses and foment the base to demand higher taxes on the rich whities and further drive the all important wedge between the classes?

I don't know a Tomas from a Thomas from a Tom but I know that politicians only care about two things and that is 1)getting power and 2) keeping power -

Alexandra my advice to you is to comment more on the greed and corruption that is choking local government and the teachers union and public employee unions and throw some stones at all those glass houses.

even the most simpleminded anonymous posters will have something constructive to say about that - - -

October 26, 2010 4:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe the solution is to figure out how our Mayor can date a hot librarian (aren't the silent types always the sexiest Mayor?) and identify how re-opening them can net him some cash AND some booty on the side. I mean he has been with his current squeeze el dia for over a month and THAT has to be grating on his nerves.

You want to re-open libraries? get Microsoft or Google or Apple to get in a bidding war for naming rights and money (a some fresh action for V) will be falling from the skies.

October 26, 2010 4:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

One simple solution. Shut down the mayors office. His entire staff is worthless, and mayor literally out to lunch. So, let that other bum the acting mayor take over for free.

October 26, 2010 4:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I do not know this O'Grady dude but why is everyone so angry about what he has proposed?

October 26, 2010 10:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:10 O'Grady is an abusive lunatic all the time. Preaches sustainability at the same time has 4 kids and a huge home. This guy has run the GGPNC into the ground. Misused public funds the list goes on. Sort of makes you think Hamburger Jan and socialist Eric are saints.

October 27, 2010 6:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

'misused' public funds?

Try 'redirects public funds to his own pet charities.'

That's Tomas's MO. He and LaBonge are turds of a feather in this regard.

October 27, 2010 8:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sounds like petty personality problems (as usual) out of Griffith Park.

October 27, 2010 9:21 AM  

Anonymous g said:


October 27, 2010 3:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sounds like petty personality problems (as usual) out of Griffith Park.

Sound like politics out of all of CD 4 to me. After all, we are talking about who to elect to represent our entire district, plus the 70,000 + new people who will join the district when the Universal expansion is approved.

October 29, 2010 10:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

LaBonge has been in office for years and done nothing to reform the bloated DWP pension system and overpaid department execs. Not a surprise since he used to work for the DWP and is in their pocket. I don't care if O'Grady is a relatively new on the scene, sounds like he know how to get things done.

November 20, 2010 9:05 PM  

Anonymous Laurie said:

"Anybody but Tom" is how I feel. Of course Mr. O'Grady is right about the reduction of open hours for City Libraries.

Mr. La Bonge hasn't met a project in CD-4 or CD-13 that he won't support no matter how many taxpayer gifts are made to wealthy developers or how much burden it will put on the aging infrastructure (hardly a sustainable proposition).

La Bonge and his colleagues have mismanaged the budget when they had a chance to deal with problems 5 years ago when it would have been less draconian.

All candidates running against La Bonge deserve a good look. Ask them the tough questions on were they stand on the issues critical to you.

Instead of welcoming the competition after 1/2 a lifetime collecting taxpayer funds, Mr. La Bonge is quite anoyed that anyone would have the audacity to challenge the rule to his fiefdom.

November 24, 2010 5:00 AM  

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